Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has announced the release of $1 million for 28 final year Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA) overseas students.
Governor Wike had also dispelled rumours that the state government had abandoned Rivers students studying abroad, saying that his administration placed priority on their education.
Speaking through his Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Fred Kpakol, the governor disclosed that the interest of the 28 final year students is in the concern of the government.
He noted that the incumbent government was not responsible for their admissions, but his administration found it necessary that the education sector should be taken very seriously.
“We incurred a lot of debts because the previous government, even while it took the students to foreign universities, could not pay their fees. And most of the students became very frustrated.
“And as students of Rivers State and government is giving service to all and sundry, the governor felt it was necessary to look into their plights and foster a solution to that.
The governor noted that most of the students studying abroad could naturally study in Nigeria because some of the courses they were studying abroad available in Nigerian universities.
“Within the first month, as we came in on May 29, 2015, on June 10, the governor released N200 million to the RSSDA to pay for overseas scholarships because they encumbered a lot of cost and they needed to have a good documentation of the students that are involved. So, the first tranche of N200 million was paid.
“On September 29, 2016, the governor released N485,289,000 for part of their tuition fees. After he did that, he considered it was necessary to do an audit to know the students and how they were coping.
“Now, the governor has released $1 million to pay to nine universities for 28 RSSDA final year overseas scholarships beneficiaries for their outstanding tuition fees. This was done in the midst of biting economy and down trend in the country.
In another development, the state government has said the choice of Port Harcourt, as the host of the simulation of the United Nations General Assembly for Africa, was a welcome development.
State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Emma Okah, said Thursday, that the UN General Assembly for Africa simulation was a mock Assembly, where future diplomats in Africa were fished out early in life and the choice of Port Harcourt for the 2018 edition, was significant.